Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Paul Klee

"To paint well is simply this: to put the right color in the right place." -- Paul Klee

The poster hanging by my art room door is by Paul Klee (you pronounce his name like the word clay). I thought he would be a good artist to explore this December. Read the information about him and look at some of his art work. I have picked some different pieces from different periods in his life.

Paul Klee was born in Switzerland on December 18, 1879. He died June 29, 1940. He loved cats. He was an accomplished musician who played the violin for a time with the Bern symphony orchestra. In his artwork, he used simple lines and strong colors. He also used simple shapes. Klee painted in many styles, but a lot of them were in the Primitive and Surrealist styles.

He is considered a Swiss-German artist known for his fine lines and playful geometry in his childlike watercolors and illustrations.

Look at some of his art work and see if you agree with his quotes below.

He once said, “A drawing is simply a line going for a walk.”
And he also said, “A line is a dot that went for a walk.”

His mother was Swiss and his father was German, and Klee was raised in Switzerland but spent most of his adult life in Germany, where he studied art. Because of his father's nationality, Klee was also considered German. He was a skilled illustrator and respected teacher at the Bauhaus in Germany. He produced around 10,000 works in a variety of materials, but he is best known for his watercolors.

Click on the words coloring page to see and color one of Klee’s early works.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

I want to show you some art work by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. He is our November artist and is best known as a painter, illustrator, and printmaker.

He was born on November 24, 1864 in the southern part of France. History places him in the Post Impressionist art period and he was friends with many other artists who enjoyed the Paris artist scene.

Here is a painting he did of one of his artist friends, Vincent Van Gogh who also became famous after his death.

He was very good at capturing people in their working environment. Here is one of his self portraits.

As a child he had broken both of his legs and they did not heal properly and stopped growing. He never grew taller than 5 feet. He was often sick and only lived to be 36 years old.
In 2005 one of his paintings sold for 22.4 million U.S. dollars. I like his posters the most. Here are two.

What do you think of his art work?

Friday, October 29, 2010

N. C. Wyeth

Newell Convers Wyeth is the artist I would like to introduce you to this month. He was known as N. C. Wyeth and was an American illustrator and artist. He illustrated many books. He was born on a farm in Needham, Massachusetts on October 22, 1882.

He moved to Pennsylvania to study with an artist named Howard Pyle. He settled in Chadds Ford, PA (that is close to Philadelphia), married, and raised five children. N. C. Wyeth worked very hard as an illustrator in order to give his family the financial freedom to follow their own pursuits.

His son, Andrew Wyeth is considered one of America’s best artists who painted realistic scenes from American life. The Brandywine River Museum is a great place to visit and see art work by both of these artists as well as other members of the family.

N. C. Wyeth loved the idea of Christmas and Santa. In 1925 he created this image of Santa.
Since he was a very large man himself, N.C. liked to dress up as Santa for his children every year.

Look at some of his illustrations. Do you see the pirate? Do you think pirates looked like him? How about Paul Revere on his horse? Do you think you would like to be an illustrator?

I love to read books with great illustrations. N. C. Wyeth and Norman Rockwell are two of my favorite American illustrators. Since watercolor is one of my passions I also loved Andrew Wyeth, N. C.'s son.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Grandma Moses

"Grandma Moses" was born Anna Mary Robertson Moses on September 7, 1860. She was considered an American folk artist and one of America's best-known primitive painters (artists who did not receive a formal art education).

She is a great example of a life long learner. She began a career in the arts at an advanced age. She became a painter in her seventies when embroidery became too difficult because of arthritis.

Grandma Moses painted mostly scenes of rural life. Some of her many paintings were used on the covers of greeting cards. I tried to find several paintings that would show the different seasons of the year.

"Grandma Moses" lived to be over 100 years old and died on December 13, 1961. She painted over 1600 paintings in a little over two decades.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Robert Indiana

For our September artist, I have chosen Robert Indiana. He was a painter, sculptor, and graphic design artist.
He was born Robert Clark in New Castle, Indiana on September 13th, 1928. He loved everyday symbols along roadside America that he saw as a child growing up in Indianapolis. Examples like “Route 66”, “EAT” at roadside diners, gas station signs, etc. inspired him in his later art work.

He created geometric art like the examples you see here. Robert Clark adopted the name of his native state and became known as Robert Indiana. His art work gave new meaning to familiar everyday words such as eat, love, and hope.

Since we study Pop art in 5th grade, he is a pop artist worth investigating. Pop art was and is an art movement that emerged in the 1950s. Pop art was and is characterized by themes and techniques drawn from popular mass culture, such as advertising, comic books, everyday objects, and popular people.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Henry Moore

I have chosen Henry Moore as our artist for July. Here he is pictured with his daughter.

Henry Spencer Moore was born on July 30th, 1898 in Castleford, Yorkshire, England. He is considered by many to be England’s greatest sculptor. He is known for his large organic abstraction sculptures. These sculptures were often in bronze and can be found around the world as public works.

He came from a large family and both parents were strong and supportive. He had a happy childhood but his parents didn’t want him to be a sculptor. So he became a teacher. But after WW1 he decided to go back to school and investigate art. I am glad he did.

Below are some of his sculptures. Do you agree that they are abstracted and modern art?

He did many sculptures of families. Here is one he worked on from 1945 to 1949.

You can find Nuclear Energy (1967) at the University of Chicago.

I like Helmet Head No. 2 (1950). I think it would make a great cartoon character or someone in an animated film.

Here are two pictures of Moore working on some his sculptures. These give you a better idea of the size of his works.

Henry Moore once said, “The observation of nature is a crucial part of an artist’s life.” Do you agree or disagree?

Click on: the case of the mysterious object to investgate a sculpture from beginning to completion.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thomas Sully

This painting is called “Torn Hat.” It was painted in 1820 and you can find it at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I don’t know why I like it so much, but it just makes me feel good when I look at it. It makes me think of summer vacation as I look at this young boy enjoying life in his favorite old hat.

It was painted by Thomas Sully, the artist I have chosen for June 2010. He was a well known portrait painter. He was born in England on June 19, 1783. His family moved to America when he was young. His dad and mom were actors and he had eight brothers and sisters. They settled in Virginia but Sully spent most of his adult life in Philadelphia. He is considered an American artist since he spent most of his life in America.

He was a realist painter. Since we study portraits as one of our drawing units, I thought you might like to see some portraits from the 1800s in America. If you click on the National Gallery you can see 20 of his paintings of people. Several of them are famous Americans and several are of children. #2 is a painting of Andrew Jackson and #10 is one of John Quincy Adams.

Since it is summer vacation, you could get a sketch book or some paper and draw some portraits. Your family would be a great place to start. Or you could sit down in front of a mirror and do a self-portrait. You could also use paint, markers, pastels, chalk, or colored pencils (whatever you have) to add color. We don’t spend as much time on portraits in school due to our time limits.

Below is a self-portrait by Thomas Sully painted in May of 1821 when he was 37 years old. He died in Philadelphia, PA on November 5, 1872 at the age of 89.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Marisol Escobar

I picked Marisol as our May artist.

She was born in Paris to Venezuelan parents who were financially comfortable. Her birthday is May 22, 1930. She has one brother who is an economist living in Venezuela.

I like her sculptures the best. Marisol Escobar has lived in Europe, Venezuela, and the United States.

Take a look at a few of her sculptures. What do you think?

Could you take some wood scraps and paint and construct a self-portrait sculpture?

How about making your whole family?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Joan Miro

Joan Miro was born on April 20, 1893 in Montroig, Spain. He worked as a painter and a sculptor. He also liked ceramics (clay).

To Pronounce "Joan Miró": say it like this - wahn (like "Juan") meer•oh

He is most closely associated with the art style of surrealism. This type of art often showed elements of surprise or objects placed unexpectedly. He painted from his imagination and his dreams. He liked to paint his feelings.

Here are some examples of his work that I really like.

Do you think he abstracted his images?
What colors and shapes did he like best?
Why don't you try and draw or paint like Miro?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Charles Marion Russell

"We Are Friends" painted in 1888.

Charles M. Russell is the artist I have chosen to explore for the month of March. He was born March 19, 1864 in St. Louis, Missouri. He is considered a U.S. western Realist artist.

"Carson's Men" painted in 1913

Charlie went to Montana when he was 16 to be a cowboy. He was a cowboy and wrangler for several years until he retired to become a full-time artist. Charlie's love of Montana kept him there for 46 years. He even built a log studio adjacent to his home where he painted most of his western scenes.

"To The Victor Belongs The Spoils"

Since he was the first “Western” artist to actually live and work in the west, he could depict his subject matter with knowledge and experience. Charles M. Russell completed approximately 4,000 works of art during his lifetime. He made paintings and sculptures that showed life on the western frontier. He died on October 24, 1926 at his home in Great Falls, Montana.

If you are in the mood to tackle a puzzle of his work, here is his painting, "Prairie Fire."

Now click on Prairie Fire 1898 to begin the puzzle.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Horace Pippin

I have picked Horace Pippin as our February artist because he was born in Pennsylvania. He was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania on February 22, 1888, but grew up in Goshen, New York. Since we have been studying folk art and Pennsylvania born artists in class, he seemed like an obvious choice.

Pippin was a self-taught African-American painter who worked in a naive style. He was called a folk artist because he had no formal art training. He attended segregated schools and served in the 369th infantry in Europe during World War I. Pippin lost the use of his right arm during the war.

Here is one of his most well known paintings. It is called Self-portrait and was painted in 1941.
This painting shows him seated in front of an easel cradling his brush in his right hand. Since World War I, he used his left arm to guide his injured right arm when he painted. Two themes he often painted were the injustice of slavery and American segregation. He also painted landscapes, religious subjects, and genre paintings.

Click on Pippin to see more of his art work.

Are you in the mood for a hard puzzle? First click on and look at Domino Players (painted in 1943).

Click on the word: puzzle. Good luck.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Paul Cézanne

It is January already and another new year. I think I want to introduce you to Paul Cezanne, a French painter who was born on January 19, 1839. He was born in a southern French town called Aix-en-Provence. He was often called the father of modern art because his paintings laid the foundations for the transition between 19th century art and a new different world of art in the 20th century. He was a Post Impressionist painter.
We have been discussing different types of compositions in class and I have chosen three of Cezanne’s paintings that demonstrate a still life, a portrait, and a landscape.

Is this a still life, portrait, or landscape?

What do you think this one is: a still life, a portrait, or a landscape?

How about this one: a still life, a portrait, or a landscape?

Also if you click on this title “Apples and Oranges” you can read more about Cezanne and see a still life and a self-portrait. You can view the slide show and see several of his works. There are some fun activities at the bottom of the page including some puzzles.